Eumir Marcial punches ticket to Tokyo Olympics

FILE – The Philippines’ Eumir Felix Marcial celebrates after knocking out Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Cuong to claim the men’s middleweight gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

Filipino boxer Eumir Felix Marcial announced his entry into the Tokyo Olympics in emphatic fashion.

Marcial on Monday became the third Filipino to qualify for the Olympics after stopping Byamba Erdene Otgonbaatar of Mongolia in the men’s middleweight quarterfinals of the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan.

The 24-year-old Marcial closed out his foe after a flurry forced the referee to stop the bout with less than a minute left in the third round in what had been a one sided match from the get-go.

Marcial, who is the top seed in his division, joined gymnast Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena as the only Filipinos so far to secure an Olympic spot.

The Zamboanga City native has been on a tear as of late. He won the gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December by a quick knockout and also bagged the silver medal in the World Boxing Championships last year.

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Indian Wells tennis postponed after coronavirus confirmed

The BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, set to begin this week, has been postponed after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in the Coachella Valley.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency for the desert cities 110 miles east of Los Angeles, including Indian Wells where the ATP and WTA tours were to play the two-week tournament starting Wednesday.

“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” Dr. David Agus, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, said Sunday. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighbouring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”

The event typically draws upwards of 450,000 fans. This year’s field included Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff.

Tournament director Tommy Haas said organizers are prepared to play the event on different dates and will explore options. The decision to postpone was based on the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control and state of California officials, tournament officials said.

Refunds for this year’s event or a credit toward next year’s tournament are being offered.

Riverside County health officials said the individual with the first case of locally acquired coronavirus is being treated at Eisenhower Health in nearby Rancho Mirage after testing positive. The person is not being identified because of confidentiality rules.

Heath officials are following up on people who may have been exposed and an investigation is underway to find out how the person contracted the disease.

It’s the second case recorded in Riverside

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Billie Jean King wants everyone to have ‘the dream’

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